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Hundreds of pounds raised for charity thanks to a York artist and Vangarde Shopping Park

A local York artist has raised more than £800 for amphibian charity Froglife by selling some of the stainless steel newts he created for Vangarde Shopping Park.

Dan Savage, who designed the steel newts dotted around the popular shopping park, raised £810 by selling the newts at Vangarde, with all proceeds going to Froglife, a national wildlife charity which is committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles.

The steel newts sold were previously seen around Vangarde and have now been replaced after a redesign to ensure their long-term sustainability. Some of the old newts have also been donated to the gardens of Hamilton House in Holgate, which is a service hub for looked after children across York.

Dan said: “I am delighted people have been generous and donated towards such a worthy cause to conserve and protect amphibians and reptiles.

“The newts have been very popular since the opening of the shopping park and the people who have donated now have a piece of Vangarde memorabilia as well.”

Froglife, which was established in 1989, is committed to conserving amphibians and reptiles through conservation, habitat protection and encouraging members of the public to get involved in protecting wildlife.

Froglife Learning Co-ordinator Jenny Leon said: “We are very grateful to Dan Savage and the Vangarde Shopping Park for generously donating the proceeds raised from the sale of Dan’s newt sculptures to Froglife.

“This donation will go towards our core programmes such as ‘Toads on Roads’ which is otherwise unfunded, so this provides vital support to our charity and the amphibians and reptiles that we work to protect.”

The steel newts have been a popular fixture at Vangarde since it opened in April 2014. More than 300 stainless steel newts are currently dotted around the park to pay homage to the 300 Great Crested newts which used to populate the site.

Vangarde Shopping Park Centre Manager Deb O’Donnell said: “We are delighted to have been involved in raising money for Froglife, it is a charity which reflects the ethos of the shopping park to conserve and protect its local wildlife populations.

“It is pleasing to see the steel newts previously seen here used to raise money towards such worthy causes, as well as putting smiles on children’s faces.”